he road to hell is paved with good intentions and we are adding lanes to the road faster than anyone can measure.
Some are pressing down the facemasks to pave a new lane. Their stated and even actual intent is to protect others. At the same time others resist the facemask and breathe deeply the ocean air and even exhale. They too have good intentions. They are eager to show it is safe to come out.
I’ve long thought the craftiness of satan includes using our good traits to lure us down the wrong path. The recent unpleasantness with the coronavirus has brought this inkling into crystal focus. We are witnessing good intentions used for destruction of businesses, income, careers, health, even churches.
Clergy, who are by nature caring individuals, stopped assembly for worship because of their heart for others. Service workers who are also naturally caring stopped serving as nurses, doctors, dentists, wait staff, cooks, nail techs, hairdressers, teachers … You see, the last thing any of these people would want to do is hurt someone. We shuttered our businesses, clinics and churches with good intentions.
A deeper, historical and more systemic look at what has happened reveals well-intended complex systems, set in motion decades ago. Many of the institutions at the core of the recent destruction are industries where I have either led or consulted.
Academia has chased funding at least since the late 1980s when I was in a leadership role. It has long been a mantra of “get the grant” and then fit to it. The end justified the means. For is not “higher education” a pure end? It has even been linked to ending poverty and everyone is for that.
The healthcare industry has known for some time that only new drugs with patents and good profit margins get the marketing and good press. Those who do the research often have an extreme vested interest in the outcomes.
And then there was the “technology transfer” program, which took hold in the early 1990s. The intent was good. Universities were spending large sums of public money on research only to make discoveries and then have the paper sit on a shelf somewhere. There was a wall between academia and the public sector and between countries. The wall was removed — with good intentions. I’ve sat in a high rise building in a major city built by “technology transfer” dollars. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
And here we sit amids a global pandemic that was inadvertently released through one of these public-private-international adventures in cooperation. After all, isn’t all cooperation a good thing, especially when topped off with some new-fashioned globalism?
But I digress. My point in writing is to urge each of us to check our good intentions. We live in a time where at least half of the information we receive is wrong, a lie, perhaps more than half. We have also learned one-sided decisions do not end well. Placing one good at the exclusion of others results in destruction. There is only one exception to this rule.
In Second Timothy, Paul provides counsel to Timothy. He tells him (and us) to “study to show ourselves approved unto God, workmen that need not be ashamed, able to rightly divide the word of truth.”
Only the study of God’s word has the supernatural result of discernment. This will not be our last crisis. We need to get good at discerning and leading in the midst of crisis. We need discernment so sharp as to rightly divide even truth.
Has our very goodness and care for others been used to lure us? Thus the path to hell is paved. We need to measure our intentions against the ultimate yardstick, not against the words of media, politicians, the ever-shifting models of science, the fears of others or even their approval.
So what does the Bible say about “assembling?” In Hebrews we read: “Let us consider one another to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Have we let our “good works” and love for one another take precedent over assembly — our love and worship of God? Have we placed care for the body over care for the soul? Have we placed science over the one who is omni-science? Have we rightly divided truth, placing the greater truth on top? For “the Day” is approaching. The decisions are not going to get easier.
Linda Prince is president of PRINCE consulting services, a business consulting firm specializing in transformations. As such, she helps leaders and organizations discern and live out their highest good. She is invited into organizations around the globe to bring about change. She has had the great privilege of conversations with thousands upon thousands of people from all walks of life on, on six continents. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Her novel, Inklings: The Heavens Are Up To Something! is available on Amazon and all major on-line outlets. For a signed copy or to inquire about speaking engagements, please go to lpprince.com.